ANAHEIM -- With Matt Kemp and his second recovery from a left hamstring strain, it is one step up, stand still, another step up. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly pointed out on Sunday that his superstar center fielder was feeling a little achy but that it was not a concern or roadblock.
"We're still kind of wait and see," Mattingly said. "We're adding things to do, and it's kind of a reaction to how he does with that. [On Saturday] he was kind of sore. We don't look at it as a setback. It's part of doing more stuff. He's been getting after it pretty good. Since it's Matt, we talk about every inch of it."
The Dodgers are 23-12 when Kemp starts, something he hasn't done since going on the disabled list for a second time on May 31. Sunday's Interleague finale against the Angels is the 38th game he will have missed, with Tony Gwynn and Elian Herrera getting most of the action in center in his absence. The Dodgers are 20-17 without their best player on the field.
The No. 3 hitter isn't the only major component missing from the lineup. No. 2 hitter Mark Ellis, out since May 19, also is rebounding from a lower left leg injury.
"It's the same thing with Mark, getting strength and flexibility back in the ankle," Mattingly said. "It's different with Matt. You can't anticipate how a hamstring's going to react to speed."
The Dodgers are 22-11 when Ellis, whose skills are subtle yet vital, starts at second and bats second. Without him, with Herrera as the main stand-in, the club is 21-18.